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2018, Injured Climber on Mount Conness Located, Freed, & Evacuated (Injury Update)

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 22 August 2018

Injury Update, August 17



Injured Climber on Mount Conness Located, Freed, & Evacuated


Many come to aid of climber trapped between granite slabs,
Sierra Wave, July 30, 2018.

"On July 29, 2018, at approximately 1:30 pm, Mono County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Search and Rescue (SAR) received a call from a pair of climbers in the area of the north ridge of Mount Conness."

"The pair explained that they could hear someone screaming for help approximately 1/2 to 3/4 miles northeast of their location. They were unsure of the exact location of the voice but provided SAR with an approximate GPS location..."

"The approximate location of the victim was around 11,400 feet elevation near the base of the Conness Glacier."

"Twelve (12) SAR personnel responded and readied at the Saddlebag Lake trailhead, and the SAR Team then began the hike into the area to attempt to locate and assist the injured person. CHP Helicopter H40 was requested to the area to conduct an aerial search of the area as well."

"H40 launched but shortly after was forced to return to their base due to the heavy smoke and low visibility in the area."

"...SAR personnel made contact with two other hikers that had heard the cries for help. These were the two hikers initially observed by the first reporters. The two hikers guided SAR personnel to a solo climber who had his leg trapped between two large granite slabs."

"...the solo climber was scrambling up the talus field to the base of a climbing route when the large slab rock he was climbing gave way, pinning his leg against the boulder below. He began screaming for help until two hikers located and stayed with him."

"...began the task of rigging and attaching several rope systems to move the estimated 4,000 pound, 5 feet x 5 feet x 1 foot slab rock off the victim’s leg."

"SAR personnel constructed three (3) separate mechanical advantage rope systems to

manipulate the slab rock...Using their rope systems operated only by manpower, SAR personnel were able to move the massive slab rock enough to free the victim’s leg. The victim was quickly readied for helicopter evacuation, moved to a nearby snowfield and hoisted to Guard 823."

"MCSO SAR would like to extend a thank you to all the cooperating agencies including CHP H40, CalOES, National Guard 823, Careflight, Medic 2, and Yosemite dispatch."


Update, August 17,

The Sheet, PDF, p. 10

Pro Cyclist Loses Leg

"Adrien Costa, once a promising professional American cyclist, has lost part of his leg due to a climbing accident on Mount Conness in Mono County, in Yosemite National Park. The 20-year old became pinned between a two-ton boulder and other rocks on the talus fields on Conness and was rescued by Mono County Search and Rescue on July 29. After the rescue, Costa was flown to Renown Medical Center where doctors were forced to amputate his right leg above the knee, according to"

"Costa had won the Tour de Bretagne and placed second in the Tour of Utah in 2016. In 2014, he took home silver medals at the UCI Road World Championships. Costa had taken a hiatus from cycling in 2017 when teammate Hagen Axeon died from injuries sustained during the 2017 Tour of the Gila."


 Bottom Line
We of Tahoe to Whitney wish Adrien a speedy and as trouble-free recovery as possible. We are sure the drive and determination powering his biking career will allow him to again access his amazing physical talents, and again access those intense natural places that show us who we are.

Good Luck and Speedy Recovery, bro!


Trail Guide

30 Minute Area Map
The NE Corner of Yosemite

Click the red dots for Trail Guide Entries, and the black dots & terrain for detailed maps.


7.5 Minute Map
The Northeast Corner of Yosemite

Click the red dots for Trail Guide Entries.



Views of Mount Conness

Trail Views


View of Connesss from the West

North of Tuolumne Meadows

View from the TYT-PCT in Virginia Canyon


From the South

JMT-PCT Southeast of Tuolumne Meadows

View of Conness while climbing to Donohue Pass

Another View of Conness, approaching the top


From the Southwest

JMT Southwest of Tuolumne Meadows



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mountain safety 2018 trapped injured climber rescued Mount Conness


 Originally Published
2018-08-01 10:43:16

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